3. Local Food

This page has the following sections:
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Philly’s Community Gardens & Urban Farms
3.3 Philly’s Farmers’ Markets
3.4 Philly’s CSAs/ Co-ops

3.1 Introduction
Urban agriculture can be defined as the growing, processing, and distribution of crop, livestock, and other related products in an urban environment. Many grassroots organizations, community institutions, community planners, and even city officials see urban agriculture as an important mean to alleviate extreme conditions of poverty and environmental stress that are common in old industrial U.S. cities such as Philadelphia. There are different types of urban agriculture models, including homestead model (i.e. backyard gardens), social entrepreneurship model (i.e. commercial urban farms developed by community organizations), corporate model (i.e. large scale commercial urban farms developed by corporations), and community empowerment model (i.e. community gardens).

Urban agriculture, as a concept, fits nicely with the broader concepts of food sovereignty and local food system. The concept of food sovereignty comes as a critique to the industrial green revolution. There is a growing awareness about the effectiveness of implementing food sovereignty policy measures as a means towards sustainability. Communities achieve food sovereignty when they democratically control what they eat, how it is raised and by whom, and how profits in the food system are distributed. Food sovereignty encompasses the rights to food, adequate nutrition and resources necessary for each person to be able to feed him or herself with dignity and in culturally appropriate ways. Fulfilling these rights requires community action to overcome barriers imposed on some people because of gender, income, race, religion and class (i).

On the other hand, local Food System is conceptualized within a 100 mile radius foodshed. Elements of the local food movement involve sustainable agriculture by re-linking the production and consumption sides of the food system and providing access to fresh food at the neighborhood level through community gardens and farmers markets (ii).

Philadelphia’s local food landscape is immense and the Philadelphia region is celebrated on a national scale for its urban food initiatives. The urban agriculture community in Philadelphia is an extensive network of farms, vacant lot gardens, and backyard gardens. Certain Philadelphia neighborhoods are experiencing a variety of social problems related to population loss, vacant land, food inequality, and hunger. Urban agriculture plays an important role in the redevelopment of formerly blighted neighborhoods. Many urban farms and community gardens are making a valiant attempt to remediate vacant lands in their neighborhoods.

3.2 Philly’s Community Gardens & Urban Farms
Bartram’s Garden
Bel Arbor Community Garden
Emerald Street Urban Farm
Farm 51
Fox Chase Farm
Greensgrow Farm
Somerton Tanks Farm
Mill Creek Farm
Philly Food Forests
Preston’s Paradise
Roxborough Presbyterian Community Garden
Sloan Street Community Garden
Southwark/Queen Village Community Garden
Temple Community Garden
The Spring Gardens
The Woodlands Community Garden
Walnut Hill Community Garden
Weavers Way Farm

Click here (map) to see the locations of community gardens that work with the Pennsylvania Horticulture Soceity
– The following map shows community gardens maintained by the The Philadelphia Orchard Project.

3.3 Philly’s Farmers’ Markets
A Guide to Philadelphia’s Farmers’ Markets, a report from CBS Philly
Click here to see Philly Food Trust Farmers’ Markets Map
Click here to see an interactive map of farms, farmers’ markets, and more from Buy Fresh, Buy Local website
– See below a latest map of Philadelphia farmers’ markets, created by Mahbubur Meenar, Temple University

3.4 Philly’s CSAs/ Co-ops/Distributors

Chester’s Co-op
Common Market Philadelphia
Creekside Co-op
Farm to City CSAs in Philadelphia
Farm to Philly
Good Spoon Seasonal Foods
Greensgrow Farms CSA
Kensington Community Food Co-op
Mariposa Food Co-op
Neighborhood Foods
Selene Whole Foods Co-op
South Philly Food Co-op
Swarthmore Co-op
Weavers Way Co-op

Living Concrete/Carrot City Creative Action and Everyday Urban Agriculture (November 3, 2010)
Panel: Laura DeLind, Eve Mosher, Tattfoo Tan, Domenic Vitiello

Photo Courtesy: Chelsea Karnash (published in CBS Philly website), Philly Rooted, Temple Community Garden

(i) Windfuhr and Jonsen, 2005; Holt-Giménez, 2009
(ii) Kantor, 2001


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